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Damotori ‘H’ – (다모토리 ‘ㅎ’) (Haebangcheon)

Name:  Damotori H (다모토리 ‘ㅎ’) Location:  Haebangcheon Reviewed by:  Mama Julia Thoughts:  Damotori is the staple makgeolli bar for the Haebangcheon and surrounding neighborhood.  It has a cozy and dark atmosphere, […]

The Lie

This is one of the most sincere things I have ever written about myself. I am at a point in my life where I feel comfortable about sharing it, and for my closest friends this will be the first time you hear it. It’s a  story I was afraid to tell, but I hope it can serve a purpose now. This is the last post I will be writing.

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In life, there are times when the floor drops from beneath you.

Four years ago I asked if I could leave drawing class early to go to a doctor’s appointment. My instructor at the time asked me if everything was OK, to which I reassured, “Of course, I’m fine, it’s probably not a big deal.”

One hour later I was diagnosed with Takayasu’s Arteritis.


Pyongyang Racer – Having a Gas in Virtual North Korea

A much shorter version of this appeared here in March 2013, but I recently revisited this piece and gave it a complete makeover: longer, meatier, and whitens your teeth. Check it out, and thanks for dropping by!

Pyongyang Racer – Having a Gas in Virtual North Korea.



I’m still alive!

Hello everyone!  Recently I have been getting a lot of mails about what happened and if I decided to stop blogging about Korea since I am currently in LA while Nara works at Disney on “Big Hero 6″ (go see it soon!!)  Last year they hired him to animate on the project so we packed up everything and came back to the states!  I just wanted to say that I am STILL going to blog and I still have a huge amount of backlog posts that I am always talking about, plus on a normal year we do visit at least once for a month so I am bath and forth to Korea even though we changed locations!  This Oct 25th Nara and I are finally getting married in LA, followed by a Korean wedding in Seoul on Nov 15th.  Nara has been super busy with work, so I have been doing the wedding things on my own so it is sucking up a HUGE amount of my time ~_~  I am sorry!  I have also started my home business back up selling art as Miss Kika (www.misskika.com) and have had an exciting year selling paintings and making shirt


Nuruk Namu (누룩 나무)

Name: Nuruk Namu  (누룩 나무) Location: Insadong (By Anguk Station) Reviewed by: Mamas and Pappas on June 14th   Thoughts: Immediately around the corner and down the tiny alleyway in front of […]

Korean-American, and a Bboy

Feature: Michael Jung Roach

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Holding On

I spoke to my parents the other day. My father was criticizing the way my mother cleaned a window, and in the middle of the video call went over to clean it better. I shook my head and commiserated with my mom.

“He’s suddenly so good at cleaning, huh? I wonder if he’ll use his talents on the basement.”

The only place in our house that none of us have any reign over is my father’s basement. He has his lab down there (dental technician), and with the rest of the space are things that he simply refuses to get rid of. Relics of the 90s, video tapes, elliptical machines, rugs and chairs. Convex TV screens and the smell of cardboard. The space is large enough to be a livingroom, and there was a long time when I wanted a spot down there to use as a studio space, but he filled every last crevasse with an empty promise that he would clean it. One day. Someday.


Yo soy coreano

Latin America (South America), Here We Are !

Today, we’ll explore the brief rundown of the migration that occurred which only depicts a handful of events and occurrences amongst a sea of information.  The aim of this article is to promote a general understanding of how the mass emigration occurred, how the Koreans survived and made a living, and anything interesting that we did given our unique circumstances.  Enjoy.

How Did We End Up Here ? 

In 1962, the Overseas Emigration Law was enacted by both countries with a huge intention to strengthen the textile trade.  However, migration to Latin America occurred on a sizeable scale (120,000 Koreans) in Paraguay between 1975 and 1990.

Also, this Law aimed to specifically send Korean farmers and peasants to Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Bolivia.  This was the plan anyway.


Longer Ways To Go



IMG_20140413_170613It is a rain-filled Thursday and my last day of teaching at this school. We are doing a K-Pop quiz – the students have to guess which K-Pop song the English lyrics are from, and then I play part of the song. They get nearly ALL of them right, and then sing and dance along. Where they find the time to memorise so much I don’t know. But then, after three days I am humming and nodding along, so maybe it’s not too surprising… It’s not bad this K-Pop stuff.

I will miss these girls – their grins and shrieks, their uniqueness and the long black hair that sheds daily all over the floor. Their giggled hellos; their thoughtfulness and sense of duty. It has been wonderful to be part of their lives for a while.

I have started saying goodbye, to people and also to places. Goodbye to this town, this little neighborhood of mine – the flat green roofs and hidden temples, painted brightly in browns and reds and turquoise. The looming, mist-covered mountain and the narrow back streets that night time fills with the hum of cicadas and distant dogs barking their territory.

The homesickness that grabbed me a few weeks back has passed. Now I am too busy to be anything other than busy. The days that are not wet are hot, and the mountain paths grow with leafy abundance. The cascades of small rocks, dry all winter, have become streams again, and as you trek along damp earth, underneath a green ceiling, you can hear water trickle somewhere in the undergrowth. Dragonflies are back in full force, playing dodge the humans back and forth over the red river-side paths. People carry umbrellas in sunshine and collect herbs from grassy banks.

It is very kind this country. Kind and peaceful. I didn’t expect to love it here, but I do, very much. And I’m sure a new kind of homesickness is coming – the kind that sends me to London’s Korea town in search of Bibimbap, the background murmur of Korean conversation and maybe someone who has heard of Yangsan, or singing lampposts, or both.

 


Xenophobia in the ESL?

Let me give you a direct link to Adam R Carr‘s blog.

This is my little addition to his work.

The School Directors.

One step beyond the recruiters are the Hagwon owners. Hagwon owners are ultimately the ones that have this decision, and thus culpability, on their shoulders. If anyone is refusing non-white teachers, it has to be them, right?

As it turns out, this is where it gets a little murky. For some perspective on this point of view, I sat down with English speaking Hagwon owner and blogger Wangjangnim to gain some insight into possible origins of these hiring ‘preferences’.


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